Vegetarian Fried Prawns

On the first day of Chinese New Year, every year without fail, my relatives will pay a visit to the Buddhist temple. Although neither a believer or a vegetarian, I do enjoy the special plant and soy-based dishes prepared for the festivity.

Among my favourites are chicken drumstick made from soy milk (the ‘meat’ is held in a wooden ice-cream stick!), congee made from rice and beans, Buddha’s Delight, and vegetarian fried prawns.

The ‘prawns’ are made from cauliflower. Meat-lovers will be sceptical, but when cut into florets and fried in batter, it does looks a lot like fried prawns. It also similar colour and texture.

Cauliflower itself is mildly sweet, unlike green vegetables which can be bitter. To mimic the umami flavour of prawns, seaweed is added.

I like adding mushrooms seasonings for better taste. After all prawns, seaweed, and mushrooms all contains glutamate which gives them the much-loved umami flavour.


  • Knife + chopping board
  • Wok
  • Chopstick/ tongs


  • 130g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Oil for deep-frying


  • ¾ cup crispy flour
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp seaweed, shredded
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp mushroom stock powder (optional)


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